Nepal's menstrual exiles
I think that it is important during the research phase to identify ways in which women are suffering from gender-based violence and discrimination globally, and an example of that is the practice of 'chaupadi' in Nepal, where women are exiled during their menstrual cycles.
Although the Nepali Supreme Court banned chaupadi in 2005, it is still widely practiced in many villages, and has led to the deaths of several women and young girls.
During chaupadi, women and girls who are either menstruating or giving birth are isolated to a shed or cave called a goth. They are sent away because their touch is said to be contaminated, and can result in doom for the family and village as a whole. Women isolated in goths have been subjected to animal attacks, disease and rape, yet the practice continues on in the name of tradition.
I feel that is important to identify gender-based inequality such as this, because chaupadi is practiced mainly in lower-income, impoverished areas. The practice has resulted in deaths of many women and their newborn children.
Those who believe that chaupadi should be followed believe that eating food cooked by menstruating women causes people to become ill and that menstruating women can cause crop failure and the death of domestic animals.
In one of the articles I read about chaupadi, there is a quote from Aruna Uprety, a doctor and women's health activist. She called chaupadi the "most degrading" Nepali cultural practice, and calls the practice a form of gender violence. Women are being discriminated against because of natural bodily processes, and they are being put in danger because of the misguided beliefs of cultural and religious leaders.
In order to solve this problem, I believe that is important to identify ways in which women are being unfairly discriminated against. Chaupadi is a traditional but misguided practice that is causing harm to innocent women.
Here are some articles on chaupadi:
And here is where I got the photo I used: